Immigration Debate: Economics of Immigration Boom or Bust

Prof. Ben Powell and Gov. Richard Lamm discuss the issues of immigration.  In their discussion, they cover population growth, prices of goods, displaced workers, depressed wages, job loss, implications for the welfare state, resource depletion, terrorism, and global warming.

Credits: This lecture was delivered in 2009 at the Metropolitan State College of Denver School of Business, as part of the Exploring Economic Freedom Lecture Series, directed by Prof. Alexandre Padilla. This video was produced and directed by Scott Houck, and edited by Adrienne Christy. Video production provided by the Educational Technology Center at Metropolitan State College of Denver. Video used by Learn Liberty with permission.


  1. Anonymous

    the fact they are ILLEGAL immigrants shows we are criminalizing it

  2. Lukas Koube

    i wonder what will drive immigration reform…will people’s anti-foreign bias win out bc of the stagnant economy? politicians can play to this bias with anti-immigration policies…

    younger people and their bleeding hearts drive the change. many people are in favor of allowing more ppl in simply bc those ppl want better lives.
    but the rise of a Hispanic voting block could be what drives reform, politicians might champion reform to show that they are the party that defends Hispanic interests. 
    however, politicians might vote for change simply bc a failing economy could grow substantially from the economic gains of having free boarders.  no party does well when the economy is in the toilet, so maybe politicians understand the economics and will change the laws simply to grow the economy. 
  3. Joshua Chandler

    Since Lamm kept trying to use concern for overpopulation as a reason to restrict immigration:

    Actually birthrates tend to go down as people get richer, so if immigration makes immigrants richer… it reduces birthrates and the overpopulation problem, insofar as it exists.

    I’m glad Powell called him out on the concept that shifting population from one place to another somehow exacerbates overpopulation though, I was wincing every time Lamm made that point. I can’t even

Leave a Reply